At a time when the countries top sports personalities are keeping mostly mum about the incidents that are on the verge of dividing the country, football fans in Kerala showed the world how it is done by turning a Sevens game venue into a protest site.
The nationwide protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has seen thousands of citizens standing up and confronting unresolved questions relating to identity and citizenship.
Ever since the controversial bill was passed, students, youngsters in the country have been protesting and condemning the government's actions. And now, the passionate football fans of Kerala have joined in, raising their voice against the issue. At a recently held Kerala Sevens match, a jam-packed gallery started doing slogans, a video of which has emerged on Twitter.
As one can see in the video, the spectators shouted 'Azadi' slogans even as the players waited for the match to start. In another video, the fans can be seen switching on their phone flashlights as the players lined up before kick off.
According to the legislation, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, but not Muslims, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
At first glance, the protests seem to be against the government but, at a deeper level, they challenge Indian society’s collective prejudices that divide people in terms of religion, caste, language and region, and sex.